On Monday 22nd May, three men pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court to fraud by false representation, following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
After fabricating a car accident in order to claim over £36,000 in damages, Shazad Saddique, of Leeds and Humayou Qureshi of Birmingham were sentenced to 20 months in prison. Taimoor Khan of Birmingham was sentenced to a 200 hour community order.
On 28th February 2014, Qureshi, who had a fully comprehensive car insurance policy with Insure The Box for his Peugeot 207, contacted the insurance provider to report his involvement in a car accident at 10pm on 27 February 2014 on Killinghall Road in Bradford. Qureshi stated that he wanted to make an insurance claim for damage to his car. He claimed to have collided with a BMW 5 Series, driven by Shazad Saddique. He stated that he was emerging from a side road when he collided with the passenger side of the BMW and that damage was sustained to the front passenger side of his Peugeot and to the passenger door of Saddique’s BMW.
Qureshi confirmed that he had two passengers in his vehicle; Khan and one other. It was later discovered that Khan was the only passenger. Saddique claimed that he had two passengers in his vehicle, both of which he said were children.
Between March and June 2014, Insure The Box were contacted by Saddique’s solicitors concerning claims for damages to the car and personal injuries from himself and two other passengers in the BMW.
In April 2014, Insure The Box received notification from Khan’s solicitors of two further claims, from himself and one other passenger in the Peugeot, claiming damage and personal injury from the collision. Khan stated that there were two people in Qureshi’s Peugeot, which contradicted Qureshi’s claim that there were two passengers in the vehicle.
A payment request totalling £6,210 was also requested for the loss of Saddique’s BMW. No payments were made from Insure The Box in relation to the vehicle.
Insure The Box proceeded to conduct enquiries into the alleged accident. They spoke to Qureshi, who confirmed the collision and said that the other driver was very aggressive towards him, even though he apologised. Qureshi claimed that he did not know Saddique and that they had never met prior to the incident, nor had they been in contact since.
Following an investigation by IFED, initial enquiries by Insure The Box and analysis from the data from a telematics box in Qureshi’s vehicle it was established that the accident had not occurred in the way it had been reported and had in fact been staged.
Qureshi’s insurance policy required for his car to be fitted with an Insure The Box telematics box which submits data relating to the use of the vehicle such asthe vehicle’s whereabouts at any given time, driving style and characteristics of forces on the vehicle itself. The box is also calibrated to set off a real-time alert if a significant impact is detected.
Enquiries into the data from the telematics box revealed that the crash events that did occur took place within an industrial area off of Leeds Road/Thornbury Avenue in Bradford, and not on Killinghall Road.
At the request of Insure The Box, an independent review was carried out on Qureshi’s Peugeot, which confirmed that the engine started and ran satisfactorily. This contradicted Qureshi’s claim in his first telephone call that the car wouldn’t start after the accident. It was also discovered that the seatbelts in the front of the car had been used, but not in the back. This contradicts the claim that the passengers in the back of the car were wearing seatbelts.
An engineer’s report obtained by Insure The Box concluded that there was compelling evidence to state that the two vehicles may have been in a collision, but that the BMW was stationary or moving extremely slowly when hit.
Speaking of the case, City of London Police’s Detective Constable Eva Woods, who led the investigation, said:
“We are pleased with the outcome of today’s sentencing. City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department carried out extensive enquiries into the case and days before the trial commenced all three defendants pleaded guilty. This was down to the hard work and joint efforts of City of London Police and Insure the Box.
“The actions of a few can affect the car insurance industry as a whole, pushing law abiding citizen’s insurance premiums up.
“This case however shows that those who take advantage of the insurance industry will not go unpunished.”